PSU alumni opinions vary on Corbett challenge of NCAA sanctions
January 3, 2013By Dave Davies and Elizabeth Fiedler
If Gov. Tom Corbett was knee-deep in the Penn State sex abuse scandal, he may be up to his neck now that he's challenging punishments the NCAA levied on the school's football program. Corbett argues that the school and the town of State College have been harmed by the sanctions.
It seems everyone has an opinion on Corbett's lawsuit: Donald Trump gave him a thumbs up, as did plenty of Penn State football fans enraged that, despite a strong season, the team was kept out of bowl games.
Robert Nagel, who graduated from Penn State in 2010, says the lawsuit may be too little too late.
"I'm not too sure the success of it. I'm also wondering if it just puts Penn State's name through the mud again," said Nagel of Montgomery County.
He also questioned Corbett's lack of past action.
"If there was action to be taken by the governor, it might have been before he was governor and when he had all of this information in front of him and before it came out to the general public -- prior to the whole scandal becoming front-page news," Nagel said.
Alumnus Jeff Jubelirer said the action is overdue.
Jubelirer, a well-known public relations strategist, and many others view the punishment as excessive. He's grown more and more frustrated since the penalty was imposed.
"The football team, the current students, the alumni, folks who are in State College -- they had nothing to do with these horrible actions and were I believe being unfairly punished by the NCAA," he said. "So I'm pleased that the governor finally came forward, though it would have been nice if this were done several months ago."
Before the suit, Jubelirer said many Penn State grads were upset with Corbett. He thinks the governor's stock could rise as long as there isn't more bad news.
"We also have an incoming Attorney General Kathleen Kane who said that she's going to investigate then-Attorney General Corbett's role in the affair.
"Assuming that nothing is going to transpire with that investigation, and that there is any movement to either reduce the sanctions or get rid of the sanctions, then that will help Gov. Corbett," Jubelirer predicted. "The thing about Penn State alums is we're all parties, we're from all parts of the state."
It's hard to overestimate the influence of Penn State graduates, who make up the largest alumni association in the country.
Strong support from PSU grads could help the governor in a bid for a second term in 2014.